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Microwave Hydrothermal Synthesis, Structural Characterization, and Visible‐Light Photocatalytic Activities of Single‐Crystalline Bismuth Ferric Nanocrystals

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Spherical perovskite‐type bismuth ferritic nanocrystals with diameters of 10–50 nm and hexagonal‐shaped sillenite‐type ones with sizes of 18–33 nm were synthesized at low temperatures by microwave hydrothermal process. Their structural, optical, and photocatalytic properties were investigated. The single‐crystalline nature of the as‐synthesized nanocrystals was confirmed by X‐ray diffraction, selected area electron diffraction, and high‐resolution transmission electron microscopy. X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy investigations show that Fe element exists as the Fe3+ valence state, as well as Bi element as Bi3+ in the as‐prepared bismuth ferritic nanocrystals. The visible‐light photocatalytic activities evaluated by the degradation of rhodamine B in aqueous solution show that the sillenite‐type bismuth ferritic nanocrystals exhibit higher photocatalytic ability than the perovskite‐type ones, which can be ascribed to their small mean particle size and the unique hexagonal‐shape morphology, and also the structural characteristics of sillenite‐type compound. The present results demonstrate that the hexagonal‐shaped sillenite‐type bismuth ferritic nanocrystals can be used as novel visible‐light‐responsive photocatalysts for degradation of organic compounds.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China 2: Eco-Materials and Renewable Energy Research Center, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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